International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action 2016
Since 2012, ITF has been engaged in activities marking the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on 4 April. The purpose of the 2016 campaign was to raise awareness among Slovenians on the current disruptive challenges posed by landmines/ERW around the world, and especially in the Western Balkans as Slovenia’s immediate neighbourhood. At the same time ITF wished to highlight the efforts it joined with the Republic of Slovenia to reduce the menace of mines and ERW.
This year ITF continued its already traditional and well-recognized Lend Your Leg campaign and addressed the public with a call to submit photos of rolled up pant legs. With the turnout of more than 300 rolled up pants legs a significant solidarity has been demonstrated to those who lost their limbs to devastating explosive devices.
To reach out to the wider public on 4 April ITF organized a public event at the Prešern square in the center of Ljubljana, with the performance of Slovenian rapper Zlatko and comedian Boštjan Gorenc – Pižama. Passersby were able to take a photo in front of the mock minefield and explore the open-air exhibition on mine action and the work of ITF in the field. On the same day an exhibition titled “Freedom and Security through the Eyes of Children from Slovenia and Gaza” in the Ljubljana Town hall was opened. The exhibition displayed artworks jointly created by children from two very different places – peaceful Slovenia and war-torn Gaza – but essentially from the same world.
During the same week ITF also organized a round table addressing “New Global Security Challenges and Mine Action” that was moderated by Igor E. Bergant, national TV anchor. The views on the topic were shared by Mr Alastair McAslan from the Centre for International Security and Resilience, Cranfield University (UK), Prof. Dr. Zlatko Šabič from the Department of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Ms Blažka Kepic from the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr Iztok Hočevar as ITF and former Danish Church Aid Project Manager. Keynote address was delivered by Ambassador Damjan Bergant, ITF Director.
To conclude the week, Ambassador Damjan Bergant also delivered a lecture on “ITF as an Instrument for the Implementation of Slovenia’s Development Cooperation” that was organized by the Slovenian Association for International Relations.